From the Desk of
Mayor’s March Budget Message Released Where's the arts?
On March 8th, Mayor Liccardo released his March Budget Message, an annual memo laying out his priorities for the coming fiscal year. This is the next step in a months-long process to get to the final budget, which the City Council will consider in June.
The SJAA Core Team has reviewed the Mayor’s budget message for items that would have a direct impact on the creative community. We appreciate the Mayor’s intent to direct federal COVID relief funding toward programs for local arts and cultural organizations to activate parks, storefronts, and other public spaces as our city slowly emerges from the public health crisis.
However, there is a lack of clarity around the future of the City’s cultural grants program that is sure to be decimated by losses in the Transient Occupancy Tax (aka TOT or hotel tax). And there is no mention at all of relief for individual artists and arts businesses that form the backbone of our creative economy and have been hit hardest by a year of social distancing.
The City Council will have a public hearing on the Mayor’s March Budget Message during their regular meeting on March 16, at 1:30pm.
We encourage all arts advocates to attend this meeting on Zoom or submit a comment in advance to remind the Mayor and Council that arts are essential to a healthy city – socially, economically, and emotionally.
Remember, this is just one step in the budget process. Here’s a calendar of key dates. Stay tuned to the SJAA Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and website for more calls to action and opportunities for advocacy from now through the final vote in June.